August 3, 2010

Some Reminders

-Like all (science) graduate students, I am woefully behind everything happening in the world of entertainment. So even though it's probably not news to anyone normal, I was surprised to find out recently that there is a Facebook movie coming out soon. I can't think of anything other than this:

Facebook/off

And as usual I can remember the wild early days of Facebook where that "Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns" tag-line comes from. Back before they started changing everything and letting in all the riff-raff who didn't go to Elite East-Coast Colleges.

I'd also like to point out, as I usually do in these circumstances, that the guy who founded facebook dated my ex-girlfriend's suitemate when we were freshmen at our Elite East-Coast Colleges. The only thing I remember about him was that he made an incorrect, but still lame, joke about trigonometry while playing frisbee in the common room. He said tangent when he should have used sine...or nothing. Also, that that girl dumped him shortly before he created that website and became a billionaire.

-I found out a few days ago that the expression "kid gloves" deals with gloves made from the skin of young goats -- not the kind of kids who are young humans. Please adjust your speech accordingly.

-I am sure that I have learned many other delayed or otherwise interesting things recently, but I've been busy doing astronomy stuff, and more importantly, programming, so that I can reduce images without having to think about each step of the process manually. For some reason, scientific (or even basic) programming is not yet part of any physics curriculum, though it seems like the primary thing many of us spend out time on. I've had to learn how to use various things, but never formally, and almost always in the context of "figure out how to do this for your job." It seems as though somewhere around your 3rd or 4th year of undergrad, professors start assuming that you know how to use most command-line programs, or write code in fortran or C, despite there never being any (even suggested) instruction on these things. Plus, many intro comp-sci classes tend to cover topics that are mainly useless to science majors. I wish my college had had some kind of "Unix-study abroad" style immersion program where that was the only way they let you communicate. (Hey, at least we'd get to travel...) I've gradually gotten proficient, but it's a lot more painful when you don't know how to phrase your (surely) stupid questions to get an answer out of the internet. Fluent or not, at least the end result is pretty:

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